How to Take the Bus from Penang to Kuala Lumpur


Bus from Penang to Kuala Lumpur

There are three options in case you want to get from Penang to Kuala Lumpur. First is Grab. We have used Grab a few times in the last 3 weeks traveling in Malaysia like from Putrajaya to Melaka, Melaka to Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur to Damai Laut. In our experience, they were all dependable: with modern cars and good drivers although if you want to take Grab between Penang and Kuala Lumpur, it would cost about 550 RM to 600 RM depending on traffic and day of the week. The second option is to take a plane. Air Asia have good fares between these two cities (70 MYR one way) as well as Malaysia Airlines (from 90 MYR). Of course, unlike Grab which is door to door, you would need to get to the airport early enough to check-in your bags, and then in KL, you would also need to take the KL Ekspres or Grab from the airport to get to the city. Yesterday, we took the third option which is the bus. This is the cheapest option and aside from a delay, I thought everything else went well. We booked our ticket from redbus and got our ticket confirmation sent to our email. The price was MYR 75.96 for 2 persons paid thru a credit card. We could also choose our seats on the website which was very good. From the website, we could choose and take the bus either from Komtar, Sungai Nibong or Butterworth/Penang Sentral). The hotel concierge told us though that vans were being used to transport passengers from Komtar to Sungai Nibong and from Sungai Nibong, they start using the big buses to Butterworth onwards to Kuala Lumpur. This might be the case before but on our trip yesterday, the bus started from Komtar and arrived in Sungai Nibong with some passengers already seated. From there, we made a final stop at Butterworth before heading to Kuala Lumpur. If we had known it, we would have taken the bus from Komtar which is closer to our hotel. 

For this trip from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, we used Kejora Ekspres leaving from Sungai Nibong and arriving at Hentian Duta which is the closest bus terminal to our hotel in KL, the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur. Other bus companies as per redbus include Quickliner Ekspres, AeroCity Express and Jasmine Express. From their website, buses depart either from Komtar, Sungai Nibong or Penang Sentral in Penang and arrive either at Hentian Duta, TBS or KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur.

Sungai Nibong (Penang) to Hentian Duta (Kuala Lumpur)
Depart: 10:30am, Arrive: 15:40pm
Duration: 5h 10m
Price: 37.98 MYR

Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal

This looks like a new bus terminal which is still under utilized or is slowly picking up after the pandemic (the latter is more likely). Our Grab driver dropped us off in the terminal and from there, we had to take the stairs up (with our luggage) to the ticket counter to get our tickets printed and pay for the facility charge of 2 MYR per person (payable in cash).

Upon presenting our ticket confirmation and paying the facility charge, we were given our tickets.

The 2nd floor is almost empty.

There is a small shop if you want to buy some snacks, as well as a toilet.

Going down was much easier as there were 2 elevators 👍

The waiting area downstairs has chairs as well as a counter where a staff would announce every departures. Unfortunately, the speaker was not good, so just make sure you double check with the staff.

At 10:32am, our bus arrived. The bus has a total of 30 seats, and there is no toilet inside.

Ticket confirmation (Departure and arrival stations, seat number)

Ticket confirmation (reminders)

The bus has 30 seats i total, in a 2-1 configuration. There were already passengers on board (from Komtar) when the bus arrived.

Our seat 2B and 2C offered spacious legroom. The seat reclined a bit and was comfortable too. Sadly, I did not see any USB ports. The seats were no longer in their best form but still okay.

We left Sungai Nibong a few minutes later and arrived at Butterworth (Penang Sentral) at 11:09am to pick up 2 more passengers, after which all the 30 seats were taken. 

Coffee Break (Toilet too)

At 1:40pm, we arrived at Petron Bukit Gantang for our much needed toilet break, as well as to buy some food 👍Mike and I actually bought 2 chicken burgers and some drinks which were perfect for a quick lunch. Sadly, we had to wait for some passengers to come back to the bus and when they came, they had cup noodles which made the driver a bit worried 😉

There was traffic too so by the time we reached Hentian Duta Bus Station, it was already 5:15pm.

Hentian Duta Bus Terminal

Shops at Hentian Duta bus terminal

Restaurants at Hentian Duta bus terminal

From the bus station, we took Grab to get to our hotel.

Overall, it was a nice experience being able to travel from Penang to Kuala Lumpur by bus. It was definitely a very cheap way to travel between these two cities, and having no traffic with each seat having USB ports would have been ideal as well 😉